With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney in March last year, a whole new world of characters became available for inclusion in the MCU. Some fans were worried that ‘child-friendly’ Disney would toss Ryan Reynold’s potty-mouthed anti-hero, Deadpool, aside. However, vague statements by Reynolds via social media and in interviews strongly suggest that Deadpool has survived the Fox/Disney merger and will be incorporated into the MCU together with other characters previously owned by Fox, namely X-Men and the Fantastic Four. When asked on Live with Kelly and Ryan about Deadpool 3, Reynolds replied, “Yeah yeah, we’re working on it right now with the whole team. We’re over at Marvel now, which is like the big leagues all of a sudden. It’s kinda crazy. So yeah, we’re working on it.”
The imminent inclusion of the character into the MCU is generating tremendous speculation. Just how could Deadpool be introduced?
One crazy idea is to use the Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe storyline from the comics. In it, Deadpool, a.k.a. Wade Wilson, is sent to a mental asylum by Professor Xavier for treatment. In the end, the treatment only drives Wilson more insane and results in Deadpool killing every major Marvel hero and villain.
While it seems implausible to use the story – there is no way will we see Deadpool kill off any major MCU hero, like Hulk or Black Panther for example – it could, however, serve to introduce the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Deadpool could be used to kill off all the old Fox Marvel characters as portrayed by their respective actors.
Wade slaughtering his way through Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Patrick Steward’s Professor Xavier, Channing Tatum’s Gambit etc. in Deadpool 3 could be the perfect way for Marvel to wipe the slate clean and reboot both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises and have a new cast for each.
Whichever way he is introduced, Deadpool will have to balance his R-rating with the MCU’s PG-13 standards. It is likely that solo Deadpool films may continue to be R-rated. But, if Deadpool appears in Avengers 5 or Fantastic Four, he would be toned down to accommodate a PG-13 rating. It will be interesting to see if Disney actually allows an R-rated superhero film and what that would mean for the MCU going forward.